So it’s been almost two weeks since I sprinkled a few seeds into those pots that came with the Chia herb-growing kit I got for Christmas. The basil was actually the first to show any sign of activity a few days ago. Then a couple of the cilantro seeds sprouted, and right now it looks like cilantro grows the fastest once it actually gets started. Now the parsley is showing signs of doing something today and I had to nearly drown those suckers just to get that pot to do anything.
While watching those pots over the past couple of weeks, it occurred to me that this little miniature herb garden might be a good pick for anybody who wants a cheap science project that the average fifth grader can handle. Set up the pots, soak the sponges, sprinkle a few seeds (and save the rest to put in other pots), and make sure they stay watered. Take lots of pictures and document any signs of activity, including measuring their growth once they get started. It’s a good way to demonstrate how plants can germinate from those little tiny seeds to full-sized plants and get some fresh herbs out of it in the process. It’s also an easy way for a kid to get an A on his science project. He can start learning how to cook using herbs harvested from “his” very own herb garden once they start to mature. That’s right, those little Chia pots can be very educational.
Seriously, though, I’m a fan of fresh herbs even though I’ve never in my life used plants in a science project. (If you must know, I did mine on how the shape of Earth affects weather patterns. And I was in eighth grade.) Put one or two basil leaves on a tomato and mozzarella sandwich and roast the whole thing in the oven until the cheese is melted sometime if you want to jazz it up. A search for cilantro turns up several Mexican recipes and it’s also good in certain spicy soups. Next time you make fish or poultry, or even if you just want to make truly standout cornbread, try sprinkling a little parsley in it. This Chia kit has all that and a few herbs that I haven’t gotten around to trying yet.
Is this the cheapest way to grow herbs? Unit for unit, probably not. If you have some pots sitting around your garage, pick up some seeds at your local home and garden store. Get some started in your kitchen windowsill. Really, those Chia things are mostly popular because you can grow grassy versions of favorite cartoon characters. But, if you’re still not entirely convinced about growing food indoors, this herbal kit is a good way to try it once if you don’t mind transferring the plants to a larger pot later. You might end up liking the convenience of being able to snip off a few basil leaves the next time you get a craving for a Margherita pizza.
Chia Plant Kits on eBay